The grove – or forest? – has taken some work this spring. It’s getting big!
Because of my age and my very slender “skill-set”, I may soon have to let go of it all. I’ve known that for a while; this boom season has confirmed it. I’d love to expand my moso, keep it as a reserve - but it probably should pass to new owners who have the energy, capital and ability to take it to commercial levels. (I’m someone for whom “commerce” and “industry” are two of the noblest words in the language. It’s just that I’m not terribly good at either.)
In recent posts I’ve remarked on the need to understand the species not in theory but in place. The place is called Dondingalong, the grove is in ex-dairy “tallowood” country between the Pacific and the Great Divide, and it swarms with hungry, brawling possums and rapacious wallabies. The good seasons that bring rain also bring strong southerly winds at shooting time; the sun is strong, the frosts can be sharp.
I know how to help moso along in this country.
But a large and mature grove needs professionals. For example: here’s a guy in Anji, China, who can cut a moso pole with professional ease and speed.
Er, I can’t do that.
Here’s a guy who harvests a fat moso shoot the way I should be doing it.
This is an inspiring story of an early planting of moso in Louisiana. I just hope these people realise that an untidy leaning pole, even if dead, may be helping to support heavy new culms in their first year. But I’m not certain of my theory, and I do love the open effect resulting from such tidiness…so just enjoy.
Enthusiasts have one thing in common with professionals. We can be bitchy. I just fancy that my biggest poles and shoots are a touch superior to the biggest ones shown in these films. And my grove hasn’t peaked yet!
Of course, I would say that, wouldn’t I?